Judgment day

A court ruling in Trinidad & Tobago could set a dangerous precedent for Gianni Infantino's organisation. And it shows that FIFA, after all, is not above the law.

By Philippe Auclair

In matters of law, the most publicised cases are not necessarily the most momentous. Who would have thought that the court action brought by RFC Liège midfielder Jean-Marc Bosman against the Union Royale Belge des Sociétés de Football Association ASBL would transform football as it did after the European Court of Justice ruled in his favour on 15 December 1995?

Another date might yet be seen to have been as significant in the future: Thursday 13 August 2020, when Justice Carol Gobin ruled in favour of the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) in their dispute against FIFA in the High Court of the Caribbean nation. FIFA is not used to be taken to court by one of its member associations; it is even less used to losing a case of that kind. But this was exactly what happened; in fact, this was the first time ever that it had.


The particulars of this complex case can be summed up thus: on 17 March of this year, the newly-elected board of the TTFA was the subject of a 'normalisation order' issued by Veron Mosengo-Omba, FIFA's Director of Member Associations for the Caribbean and Africa. A 'normalisation committee' was put in place by FIFA, headed by Robert Haddad, a local businessman with no background in football. Short of suspension or expulsion, this was the heaviest sanction FIFA could impose on one of its 211 Member Associations (MA). Why it wa...

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